Kingsman: The Secret Service 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE has the dubious distinction in my book as having one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen.  It was so bad in fact that I instantly lost interest in the film and really, had no intention of ever seeing it.  But I had a few friends that saw it and liked it, so I decided to give it a chance on home video and was pleased to find a very enjoyable film with fun characters and cool action sequences.  So if you thought the same thing after those trailers, trust that the film just doesn’t lend itself well to advertising and the bad trailers shouldn’t be held against it.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman is a private spy firm that has a set number of employees and sells itself as the protector of the world, all while acting and dressing like gentlemen.  When an agent is murdered, a spot opens up and each of the existing agents is tasked with recruiting someone for the role.  While most agents pick out the rich Oxford types, Harry (Firth) recruits Eggsy (Egerton).  Eggsy is a smart, athletic kid but he’s from the wrong side of the tracks and faces an uphill battle to join the Kingsman.  But when the evil plan of Valentine (Jackson) goes into motion, they need Eggsy more than ever to help save the world.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Secret Service

There’s nothing special about the basic plot of KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE.  It’s mainly stuff we’ve seen before, down to the smooth talking secret agents and the Bond-villain-esque bad guy.  But director Matthew Vaughn has a way of telling these basic stories in such a slick manner that you forget you’re not watching anything you haven’t seen before.  He has some help in Kingsman, especially with the casting of Colin Firth and newcomer Taron Egerton.  I don’t usually think of Firth when I think of action stars or cool secret agents, but this wasn’t a stretch for his usual snooty British character.  More pressure was put on the shoulders of Egerton, who turned in a surprisingly charming performance as the fish out of water Eggsy.  Egerton is one of those actors to keep an eye on since based on his great performance in Kingsman, I’m sure he’ll have an even bigger breakout role in the near future.

Samuel L. Jackson in Kingsman: The Secret Service

Vaughn did have his work cut out for him since creating a world of superspies with supervillains and high-tech weapons is a risky proposition, especially if it’s not already defined for the audience (like a superhero film).  But Vaughn thrusts the audience into the action immediately and asks that we accept the world and not ask too many questions.  That method doesn’t always work, but in this case, it worked very well.  We didn’t need to know how Gazelle ended up with blades for legs or how she managed to not slice everything she came in contact with, we only needed to know she was a cool villain.  The point of the film was more about Eggsy and his coming to terms with being a superspy.

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE was a pleasant surprise by just how cool it was.  Director Matthew Vaughn took a somewhat obscure comic book and turned it into a potential franchise and may have made a star out of Taron Egerton.


Video: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE looked great on Blu-ray, so I was skeptical about how much of an improvement could be made jumping to 4K.  Like with other 4K releases, I’ve discovered that the “simple” scenes in KINGSMAN with characters talking in a fixed setting is where the 4K and HDR really come through.  The initial encounter between Harry and Eggsy in the diner is a prime example of how impressive 4K can be and I noticed details I had overlooked on Blu-ray.  But in the epic church battle, I thought the clarity and detail lacked.  I’m beginning to suspect that’s going to be a reoccurring issue with CGI heavy films.  But overall, this is a clear upgrade to the Blu-ray.

Audio: The audio was fine.

There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does come with the Blu-ray and you can read our Blu-ray review by clicking the link: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE Blu-ray review.

Click 4K Ultra HD to read more of our 4K reviews.


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